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Avamar Server Configurations to keep in mind!

June 24, 2009

When building out your Avamar Server, it’s important to keep in mind the flavors of an Avamar Server.  You have the following 2 types of configurations:

Non-RAIN configurations consist of either a single stand-alone node or one utility node and two data storage nodes (1×2 Non-RAIN). In single node configurations, both utility and data functions are provided in the single node.  The 1×2 Non-RAIN Avamar Server works much like RAID0 with disks, backup data is evenly distributed between both storage nodes, so if there is a node failure, your Avamar Server has now been compromised.  This is the reason why EMC requires Replication as a form of fault tolerance in a Non-RAIN Avamar Server.  By replicating your Non-RAIN Avamar Server to an offsite location, you will be able to recover from a failed node at the source by replacing the node then replicating back from the offsite location.

****There is no need for a 1×2 Avamar Server with a spare node, in this case, if there is a node failure, you have lost your backup data because Avamar stores the backed up data in stripes distributed evenly between all storage nodes.  A 2 storage node configuration is similar in functionality to RAID0, data is striped across the 2 Avamar nodes but there is no parity in place.  Keep this in mind when planning out the Avamar Server that best fits your environment and be sure to use replication if a Non-RAIN Avamar Server is being used to backup your production site.

RAIN configurations include one utility node, a spare node, 3 or more data storage nodes, plus a spare data node. Currently, the largest standard configuration consists of 16 data nodes, 1 utility node, and 1 spare data node. In a multi-node system, the nodes operate together as one server. The hostname and IP address of the utility node is the identity of the Avamar server for access and client/server communication. Avamar load balances data across all available nodes in a server. With node architecture, Avamar can be easily scaled by adding more nodes.  In a situation where you experience a node failure, the Avamar Server will continue to function in a degraded mode until the node is replaced with the spare node.

Here is a graphical representation of the types of Avamar Servers discussed above:

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